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December 14, 2013

Teenhood Today: Carols, cookies and cacti

The Daily Star

---- — I know Christmas is still two weeks away, but I have been eagerly anticipating it for months. 

I started singing Christmas carols all the way back in September. Christmas cookie recipes have been popping up on my Pinterest boards for just as long. And I’ve been checking under the cactus in our living room in hopes that Santa messed up his calendar and came early.

I’m definitely not alone in this mind-set. Christmas music and stocking stuffers consumed stores even before the Thanksgiving turkey was in the oven. That is something that bugs me. 

While I anticipate Christmas, I keep the carols to a hum, the cookies to simply an ingredients list, and the cactus checking to a ninja-style stealth investigation until after Thanksgiving.

I think that Thanksgiving deserves a hullabaloo as well. It is a very wonderful holiday full of food, family, food, prayers, food, lists of things we’re thankful for, food, and so on and so forth. But Thanksgiving is over, so my mind has been transformed for Christmas.

I love precipitation. I really do. I think rain is absolutely fantastic. I don’t necessarily like my bags and everything else I carry to get wet, but if it’s just me out in the rain, I love it. It’s also a wonderful thing to fall asleep to (unless you’re camping with a leaky tent. Been there, done that. It’s not fun). 

For all my affection toward rain, it cannot compare to snow. Snow is absolutely gorgeous! It makes everything look magical and clean. I even like shoveling my driveway. 

One nice thing about snow is that you can enjoy it thoroughly inside next to a fire with a book in one hand and a hot drink in the other. 

That’s another wonderful aspect of this season. The drinks.

I am a huge fan of spices. Whenever I cook, I always mix and match far more seasonings than any recipe calls for. But it tastes fantastic. My grilled cheese is the most decked out on the planet. My love for spices and extracts and syrups makes the hot drink season all the better. My family is well aware that if I have a steaming cup of something, which is almost always, it’s not just typical hot chocolate. The flavor possibilities are unbelievable.

As you can probably tell, I love the Christmas season for many different reasons. But why is it that most people look forward to it? I think it’s because of the joy that surrounds the season. 

While busy stores and a constant flow of money out of your account is the norm, most people still love this time of year. The snow makes everything look magical. The Christmas carols are some of the only songs that every single person knows. And there’s a sense of hope in the air. 

As a Christian, I know this hope is that of Christ’s coming. The gift God gave us. But most people, no matter the religious opinion, enjoys giving gifts. It’s a wonderful feeling to see someone love the gift you picked out for him or her. And it’s wonderful to open one of your own that someone saw and thought of you. 

Now, I am absolutely awful at giving gifts, so picking them out scares me. But no matter, I still adore Christmas.

Miriam A. Thurber is a junior at Unatego Central School. ‘Teen Talk’ columns can be found at